Friendly fire incidents

Ad: This forum contains affiliate links to products on Amazon and eBay. More information in Terms and rules

The previous post documents the Sicily airdrop by the 82nd. Its probably the worst and saddest documented event of US friendly fire against US aircraft. The night engagements at Guadalcanal unfortunately had friendly fire incidents. Canberra may have been hit by torpedoes from Bagley at Savo Island, Washington may have hit one of the US Destroyers on the 14th of November. The very real risk of friendly fire may have been one of the reasons VADM Lee recommended not seeking a night engagement during the Philippine Sea, when asked by ADM Spruance. Lee knew surface night engagements can easily turn into confusion.
This wasn't as uncommon as you might think. Aircraft identification was a never ending training endeavor. I know some of the 8th AF pilots had playing cards with silhouettes of enemy and friendly AC. Despite that it was easy to mistake one plane for another in the heat of battle or bad weather. There are stories of 51s shooting down 51s from another FG. US ac shooting down Spits, Mossies, etc...and vice versa. One story I read, a pilot got separated from his group after and furball and saw a group of three 51s heading home. He decided to link up with them until he got closer and saw they were 109s.

Users who are viewing this thread